By Xhafa, S. and Yzeiri, E., 2015


One of the most important current developments in Albania, is the project on the reform of the new administrative division of territory. Until now planning policies and territorial development are oriented on administrative division legislated in 1992. Until 2000 were made some partial changes, which are not associated with structural changes or decentralized effects. Actually, there are 12 counties, 309 communes and 65 municipalities. This organization relies on fragmented administrative division inherited from the communist regime. Under these conditions, the need for a reform on territorial division, has become one of the strongest challenges of policymaking, towards its realization based on Albanian legal framework and international best practices. Current studies in this field are conducted by national and international organizations: Study of Fiscal Decentralization (USAID, 2012); The Report of Territorial Reform in Albania, (Association of Municipalities of Albania); as well as some partial reports by the OSCE, UNDP, etc. In this study, intended the diagnosis of all conditions and factors that inhibit: rational use of the territory; natural resources management; control of demographic processes, management of residential informality, the quality of public services, functional development of land, sustainable development in general, and reinforce the need for a new administrative division reform. In this study will be used: •spatial and territorial analysis based on the criteria that will be used for the new administrative division (demographic criteria, economic functions, cultural typology of territory etc. • interpretative analysis of approximation of this reform with the provisions of European Charter of Local Self-Government. This issue has public and community importance, given that this reform will pave the way for sustainable development in general, and creation of unified economic systems, which will promote cooperation initiatives with other regions of the Western Balkans, and beyond.